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EQIP - How to Apply

Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) - How to Apply

 

Visit your local USDA Service Center to apply or visit www.nrcs.usda.gov/getstarted.

An up-to-date conservation plan is the basis for an EQIP application and describes conservation practices to be implemented, timing of implementation, practice location, and conservation benefits to be achieved.

  • NRCS will help eligible producers develop an EQIP plan of operations (derived from their conservation plan), which will become the basis of the EQIP contract.
  • EQIP applications will be ranked based on a number of factors, including the environmental benefits and cost effectiveness of the proposal.

Interested applicants may apply for EQIP by submitting a completed, Form NRCS-CPA-1200, Conservation Program Application, to their local NRCS field office in person, by phone, email, or fax.

Application Process

  1. Apply for EQIP by completing the application, Form NRCS-CPA-1200, Conservation Program Application, and submitting it to the field office in the county in which you own land.

  2. Since EQIP sign-up is continuous, there may be more than one window of opportunity for funding your application based on available funding each fiscal year.

  3. If an application is dated after the close of an application ranking cut-off period, the application will automatically be deferred to the next application ranking cut-off period.

  4. In order to be considered an agricultural producer eligible for EQIP, the applicant must have a vested interest in production agricultural or non-industrial private forest land.

  5. The applicant and the land must be determined eligible by NRCS - visit the program eligibility page for more information.

  6. A conservation planner will help the applicant develop their conservation plan and an EQIP schedule of operations - the EQIP schedule of operations will become the basis for the EQIP contract.

  7. NRCS screens and ranks the EQIP schedule of operations using criteria developed for the ranking and funding pool.

  8. If the application is selected for financial assistance, and the applicant will make an appointment with NRCS to sign the contract for fund obligation.

  9. Both NRCS and the participant must sign the contract prior to implementation of any planned conservation practices. Any practice scheduled for financial assistance commenced prior to fund obligation is ineligible for payment.

Applicant's Responsibility

  1. An applicant must provide a correct legal name, address and social security number or tax identification number to NRCS.

  2. The applicant must be able to provide proof, upon request, that they have control of the land for the proposed contract period.

  3. Applicant must provide a landowner agreement to install structural practices if the applicant does not own the land.

  4. Applicants must be determined eligible by NRCS prior to the start of ranking cut-off periods in order to be considered for funding.

  5. Limited resource and beginning farmers and ranchers must be able to provide proof, upon request, that they meet the criteria as a limited resource or a beginning farmer or rancher - visit this link for more information about the limited resource and beginning farmer and rancher criteria.

  6. If approved for funding, the participant must begin implementation of at least one approved conservation practice within the first 12 months of the contract, and continue practice implementation according to the contract schedule.

  7. Applicants will need an up-to-date conservation plan that describes the conservation practices to be implemented, the timing of the implementation, the practice location, and the conservation benefit to be achieved.

  8. Form SF-1199A, Direct Deposit Sign-Up Form, must be completed and submitted to the NRCS field office in order to receive electronic payment.

  9. The applicant must complete and submit to the FSA county office or NRCS field office, Form AD-1026, "Highly Erodible Land Conservation (HELC) and Wetland Conservation (WC) Certification."

  10. An applicant must complete and submit to the local Farm Service Agency (FSA) county office or NRCS field office an Average Adjusted Gross Income (AGI) Certification and Consent to Disclosure of Tax Information form.

  11. If the applicant is an entity or joint operation, Form CCC-901A, Member's Information, will be required.

  12. If the applicant is an entity or a joint operation, members may be required to submit to the FSA county office or NRCS field office, Form AD-1026, "Highly Erodible Land Conservation (HELC) and Wetland Conservation (WC) Certification."

  13. If the applicant is an entity or joint operation, members must complete and submit to the local Farm Service Agency (FSA) county office or NRCS field office an Average Adjusted Gross Income (AGI) Certification and Consent to Disclosure of Tax Information form.

  14. If the applicant files taxes under with an EIN (Employer Identification Number) then the applicant must provide a Dun and Bradstreet DUNS (Data Universal Numbering System), number and register the DUNS number with System Award Management (SAM) at the website. If an applicant receives a contract the DUNS number must be annually re-registered with SAM. No fees are associated with DUNS numbers or SAM registration.

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Contacts

Alan Forkey, Program Manager
Phone: 530-792-5653
Email: Alan.Forkey@ca.usda.gov

Erik Beardsley, Program Specialist
Phone: 530-792-5649
Email: Erik.Beardsley@ca.usda.gov